Manchester United face a group-defining encounter when they visit RB Leipzig in the Champions League on Tuesday at 8pm.
RB Leipzig XI: Gulácsi; Mukiele, Orban, Konaté, Angeliño; Haidara, Kampl, Sabitzer; Nkunku, Dani Olmo; Forsberg
Man Utd XI: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Lindelöf, Shaw; McTominay, Matic; Telles, Bruno Fernandes, Greenwood; Rashford
Where to watch RB Leipzig vs Man Utd on TV:
- UK: BT Sport 2
- US: Galavision
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Scoreline prediction: RB Leipzig 1-2 Man Utd
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RB Leipzig vs Man Utd build-up, team news & previous line-ups:
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will travel with his squad to Saxony knowing a result will guarantee their progression to the knockout rounds, but a win for Julian Nagelsmann’s men will put them through and condemn United to the Europa League in this winner-takes-all showdown.
In the tightest Champions League group of the current campaign, Man Utd, RB Leipzig and PSG all sit level on nine points apiece, with the Parisians and Leipzig restoring parity on Solskjaer’s side after securing wins last time out. PSG ran out 3-1 victors at Old Trafford, while Leipzig edged Istanbul 4-3.
United will feel confident heading into this encounter, knowing they put Leipzig to the sword 5-0 in the reverse fixture, but another Jekyll and Hyde performance at the weekend in the Premier League, this time against West Ham, has created an uncertain atmosphere in the North West.
Can Solskjaer rally the troops and produce a performance reminiscent of the second half against the Hammers? Or will Leipzig come storming out of the blocks and mastermind a home win to book their ticket in the last-16?
- RB Leipzig (vs Bayern Munich): Gulacsi; Mukiele, Konate, Upamecano, Angelino; Adams, Haidara, Sabitzer; Kluivert, Nkunku, Forsberg.
- Man Utd (vs West Ham): Henderson; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Telles; McTominay, Pogba, Van de Beek, Greenwood, Martial*; Cavani*.
Anthony Martial and Edinson Cavani were both withdrawn in the match against West Ham, with the former pulling up at the London Stadium and limping down the tunnel, so they have not travelled. Nor has Fred, who was shown a red card in the previous match against PSG.
Dean Henderson deputised in the absence of David de Gea against the Hammers, who was kept on ice by Solskjaer following a slight injury sustained in the league match prior against Southampton, despite playing in the PSG loss last week. The Norwegian is expecting his No. 1 ‘keeper back for the Germany trip.
The injury he had after Southampton has flared up a little bit so we didn’t want to take a risk with David so we kept him at home, Solskjaer explained regarding the absence of De Gea at the weekend.
“Hopefully we can have him ready for the Leipzig game.”
Leipzig meanwhile remain without Lukas Klostermann, Fabrice Hartmann, Konrad Laimer, Benjamin Henrichs and Hwang Hee-chan.
Players to watch:
Bruno Fernandes has created 35 chances in the league this season, more than any other player in Europe's top five leagues.
Never bench that man again. pic.twitter.com/OZOOUGmgSy
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) December 5, 2020
RB Leipzig: One player who will be desperate to inflict a huge blow to Man Utd is Man City loanee Angelino. The buccaneering full-back is indispensable to Nagelsmann’s high-octane system and has been a prominent figure in the Champions League this season. The 23-year-old has been directly involved in four goals (two goals, two assists) which is no mean feat for a defender in Europe’s premier competition. In fact, the only Spaniard with more goal involvements in the competition this season is Juventus’s Alvaro Morata, who has found the back of the net six times, and registered one assist.
Man Utd: The game changer over the weekend was once against Bruno Fernandes, who was introduced at the break to save Solskjaer’s blushes, after a first half in which West Ham completely dominated proceedings. The Portuguese completely changed the complexion of the tie upon his introduction and proved the difference-maker, creating a quite exceptional eight chances in just 45 minutes of action, which was more than his teammates combined across the entire match (six). With one eye on this encounter, Solskjaer was desperate to get the job done in east London without having to call upon his talismanic playmaker, handing him a rare rest with a season-defining match on Tuesday. But, it’s clear Man Utd are just not the same team without Fernandes, who has become a fan favourite since joining from Sporting Lisbon last season.
Champions League 2020/21 form:
- RB Leipzig: WLWLW
- Man Utd: LWLWW
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